CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- In the wake of the Fort Hood shooting tragedy, local veterans are asking how another U.S. military base tragedy could happen again.
They’re also praying for the victims and their families.
Thursday at American Legion Independence Post 262 in Charlotte, veterans were eating barbeque chicken and listening to the piano.
"We're family,” said Legion Commander Skip Hunt.
That's how Legion Commander Skip Hunt wants it. It's also why the Fort Hood tragedy hurts.
A 2009 rampage by a soldier was the deadliest attack on a domestic military installation. Thirteen people died and more than 30 were wounded.
"I took my basic training at Fort Hood,” Hunt said.
That was 1959. That training kick-started his 20-year military career and included plenty of good memories.
Seeing what happened at his old post Wednesday, a U.S. soldier and Iraq war veteran being treated for mental illness shooting and killing fellow soldiers before taking his own life, is the equivalent of several deaths in the family.
"It's a shame,” said Hunt. "It hurts everybody to hear something like that, you know. He's actually hurt so many people, so many families."
"Simply shocking,” said Army veteran Paul Hutchinson.
He says the military is a brotherhood and it stays with you forever.
"We just need to do more to help our troops,” Hutchinson said. "We just need to look out for those signs."
Hunt says it took him about a year to overcome some post-Vietnam psychological concerns he had.
He retired 35 years ago this week.
Some things never change. The military is family and they hurt and overcome together.
"I hate to see it. We don't want to see it anywhere,” he said.